The ideal red lip is the holy grail of make-up. We all have different colourings, so the perfect lipstick varies from person to person, but there are some constants we look for. This might be the lipstick's staying power, its texture or how easy it is to apply. Many of us have had the same faithful lippy for years, but what if there's a better option out there? Yes, trying a new lipstick is a gamble, but we've done the hard work for you. Here, we put three new releases to the test to see if it really is possible to nail the perfect red lip...
Sophie tried... Shine Fever lip vinyl in Hot Pursuit
On first inspection, Stila's latest offering has a slick consistency which looks like a smooth, coloured gloss. But it's the strong colour when applied that makes this product different - it's so highly pigmented, it's almost opaque. Hot Pursuit is a deep, dark cherry red (and even smells of cherries) with a slight blue tint - great for making teeth appear whiter. The product is so dense it can be quite hard to even out, and the colour is so dark it's actually difficult to blend out patchiness. However, this density means you can also use the brush as a lip liner to draw the perfect cupid's bow or neaten out the edge of your pout.
It does take a while to dry (leaving behind its glossy texture) and eventually goes quite tacky and clings to your lips, giving it good durability - perfect for day-long wear - and it doesn't smudge after a few drinks. Once dried, it looks more like a matte lipstick with a high, glossy shine and gives the effect of a plump, pillowy pout. If you're looking for lacquered lips in a deep, lush, jammy red, this lip vinyl is a must-try for a touch of Forties Hollywood glamour.
Claire tried... Diego dalla Palma Moulin Rouge matt lipstick in 266
This lipstick glides on like silk and is a seriously beautiful colour, like a scarlet red mixed with a hint of cherry pink - the sort of shade that immediately makes you feel fabulous the second you put it on.
The texture is great too and although it's matte (I always find less shine preferable), it's not so dry that it shows up every little line on your lips, which can be ageing.
The packaging's nice and the product looks great but, sadly, this lippy has no staying power. Admittedly, I did eat lunch not long after applying it, but my family were quick to point out it had smudged all over my face. I cleaned myself up and what was left of the colour soon disappeared, which is really disappointing, particularly as it's not cheap. I wouldn't trust it in any social situation based on my test, so it looks like it's a lipstick for lockdown - just a little something to wear around the house.
Georgia tried... KVD XO vinyl lip cream in Tulip
Price: £14.40 (was £18)
I was always firmly in the 'red lipstick doesn't suit me' camp. I thought of it as either too grown-up - I always remember seeing my grandma applying it - or too bold for my skin tone. But the KVD XO vinyl lip cream has converted me.
A product that's suitable for vegans, I tried the shade Tulip. The formula is unlike anything I've used on my lips before, combining bold pigment that goes on like a slick, creamy gloss, but dries quickly with a vinyl-like shine to it.
You have to make sure you get the stick right into the corners of the mouth so you have no gaps of colour. KVD recommend using the tip of the applicator to line your lips then lying the applicator on its side to fill in. I also really appreciated the sweet vanilla scent (I don't like the weird taste some lipsticks leave behind).
As for staying power, it smudged a little when I ate, but the colour remained intense for hours.
What I noticed more than anything is how confident I felt wearing this product. I love how glossy it is and how it seemed to plump my lips up. I will be using it on my next trip to a bar, that's for sure.